It’s the day after the night before. Edouard and I are working hard in selling Papageno- as much as we can anyway. It’s now live for offers here:
We’ve had many messages and comments of support, love and even the few who say, “Nooooo!”
They’re the ones that make me smile sadly.
Of course the adventure isn’t over. I love Papageno. But I can’t imagine going back to the lonely marina in the burning heat and sitting inside her, wondering what my next step is whilst my spirit is broken. For now, I know my next step is home. It has to be. Who knows, I may change my mind over Christmas and think, “what the hell am I doing?”
But I am focused on settling on the waterways of Britain for now and it makes me happy. I have been away from home for the past two years. I’ve taken it all for granted. The sitting down with a cup of tea and discussing each other’s day. Meeting your friends in the pub and celebrating someone’s job promotion or birthday. Sitting together when you’re remembering a lost one, raising your glasses as you reflect on the times you spent together.
All of these things.
I’ve taken so much of my life for granted, so focused on the future I haven’t focused on the now. I even took France for granted. I was in a beautiful city, with the love of my life. I have so many regrets, I should have done this, I should have done that, I should have paid more attention, made more of an effort. I should have taken classes to learn French, I should have gone out with those girls when they kept inviting me three weeks in a row so I could make friends.
But instead I went to that Jack London exhibition and was so blown away by the dream of living on a boat and writing that I saw nothing else. I was completely blinded to the joys that were surrounding me. I could only think of the future. Of buying the boat, of fixing her, of sailing across those topaz waters and diving beneath, discovering that place that I’ve yearned all of my life to find.
And so, I have regrets.
Maybe it was my surety that I wouldn’t lose what I had. I had found Edouard in such a magical place, we were bound by the Universe- how on earth could I lose him?
But somehow I did.
And so I find myself in the middle of Europe and the Caribbean, exhausted, drained and with a panic bubbling in my stomach of selling Papageno. I feel like a five year old who just wants to run to her mother. And that’s what I want to do. I want to run to my mum for a hug so she can make me a cup of tea and tell me I’ve done the right thing. I want to be with my sister, so she can help me get over my heartbreak. I want to be with my dad so his straightforwardness and forward thinking will slam me out of my fear and self pity and focus on the future again. My future.
And I want to be with my friends so they can recharge my happy batteries. So I can laugh, joke, sing and dance again.
Edouard and I will be keeping contact as we go down our different paths. He will be helping me sell Papageno, and will be potentially driving Leela and I from Paris to England if I have any trouble with getting her a flight back to Blighty. We’ve both spoken about visiting each other in the future and we’re glad that we’re leaving on good terms. To be honest, I think we’re just pretending we’re going for a trip away on Tuesday. We’re not actually comprehending that we only have today and tomorrow as a couple. We’re pretending that it’s not a big deal.
But Tuesday is fast approaching of when we start our first step in different directions.
Everything is starting to feel very real.
Our separation. Selling the boat. Returning home.
Just breathe, Elizabeth, just breathe.
So, I will try my best to enjoy the now, throw myself into some painting and allow the colours to bring me some joy as they span across white. Because that’s life. You’re given a blank canvas. It’s up to you how colourful it should be.
Breathe, Elizabeth. Breathe.
Find my most recent painting for Limited Edition prints at: “Topaz Waves” Watercolour Limited Edition Print